Pinellas County Schools and the Pinellas Education Foundation have announced the 10 finalists in the 2013-14 Outstanding Educator of the Year recognition program. District officials, along with representatives and business partners of the Pinellas Education Foundation, notified the finalists of their status during surprise classroom visits over the last three days.
The Outstanding Educator of the Year finalists:
- Sarah Borchardt, a fifth-grade gifted, ESOL and inclusion teacher at Starkey Elementary School in Seminole.
- Susan Carney, a Kindergarten teacher at Ozona Elementary School in Palm Harbor.
- Melissa Colgan, a Supported Varying Exceptionalities (SVE) teacher at Largo Middle School.
- Kevin Ford, a band director, and founder of the Leadership Conservatory for the Arts at Tarpon Springs High School.
- Diana Harper, a fourth-grade teacher at Dunedin Elementary School.
- Stephanie Martanovic, a seventh-grade Civics teacher at Safety Harbor Middle School.
- Tracey Raecek, an Algebra teacher at Osceola Fundamental High School in Seminole.
- Monica Taylor, a media specialist at Woodlawn Elementary School in St. Petersburg.
- Gisela Torres, a Spanish teacher for the International Baccalaureate program at St. Petersburg High School.
- Robert Sinibaldi, an adapted Physical Education teacher for students with special needs at Walsingham Elementary School in Largo.
The district received 80 nominations, which were scored by a panel of judges who determined the 10 finalists based on multiple criteria. The finalists will undergo an interview process and a second round of scoring by a different panel of judges, who will select the final winner.
All of the finalists will be honored, and the 2013-14 Outstanding Educator of the Year will be announced, at the annual Evening of Excellence, which is sponsored by the Pinellas Education Foundation, at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014.
The 10 finalists are sponsored by: Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union, Horace Mann Insurance, Clear Channel Outdoor, The Tampa Bay Times, NOVA Southeastern University, KPMG, Bright House Networks, Ajax Building Corporation, Catalina Marketing and the Junior League.